Silva and Erban Win the Qualifying Races
Bathurst, Australia- Douglas Silva and Mischo Erban both dominated their qualifying races to earn the top qualifying positions for tomorrow's Newton's Nation Downhill Skateboarding race. Both skaters won all of their heat races enroute to earning their victories and mark themselves as the clear favorites in tomorrow's big race.
A new, exciting format is being used at Newton's Nation that had the racers competing in elimination brackets to determine their starting positions for Sunday's race. The competitors each did a timed qualification run on Friday to determine their grid positions for today's twin qualifying races. Their placement today determines how they will start tomorrow. Silva set the fastest time in Friday's time trials and was seeded number one in the qualifying race for those who qualified with an odd number (1,3,5, etc). Erban was seeded number one in the bracket for even numbered (2,4,6, etc) qualifiers. With both riders winning their respective qualifying races, Silva will be seeded number one and Erban number two.
Patrick Switzer and Kevin Reimer both finished second in their respective qualifying races and will line up third and fourth. Andrew Chapman and Stefan Ruefli were the third place finishers so they will line up fifth and sixth respectively. Scoot Smith and Evren Ozan will start seventh and eighth. Torbjorn Sunde and Louis Pilloni will round out the top ten in ninth and tenth.
The response to the new qualifying format was overwhelmingly positive as many riders were able to get a large number of runs and there was constant on track action for the spectators. Plans are now being made to use the new format at additional World Cup races in 2011.
The Mount Panorama race track is one of the most challenging tracks on the IGSA World Cup schedule and it continued to extract a toll on a number of competitors. Yesterday Jackson Shapiera suffered a severely dislocated shoulder and George Mack severely sprained ankle that knocked both riders out of the race for the weekend. Today Dominique Vukorep collided with a skater who fell in front of her during her second round race. Dominique suffered a broken right wrist and ligament damage to her left knee and ankle. Emily Parr suffered possible fractures to both of her legs when she crashed heavily during a Classic Luge practice session. Additional x-rays have been ordered for later in the week once the swelling has subsided. The IGSA wishes all the injured competitors a speedy recovery.
Dalua Wins the Top Ten Shootout!
Following the Twin Qualifying races, a special Top Ten Shootout was held for the top ten qualifiers. Each rider made one run against the clock with the winner earning $1000 cash and the bragging rights. Each rider was pushing it to the limit and one went beyond. As Mischo Erban finished his foot braking entering Forrest's Elbow, he didn't place his foot back on the board properly. His board tossed him off and he impacted the straw bales heavily. He banged up his knee in the process but still expects to compete in tomorrow's race. Douglas "Dalua" Silva was the final rider down the hill. He posted an amazing time that was only 9/1000th of a second off the time he set in qualifying despite a strong headwind.
Top Ten Shootout Final Results
1. Douglas Silva, Brazil 1:00.380
2. Kevin Reimer, Canada 1:00.620
3. Andrew Chapman, Canada 1:01.270
4. Patrick Switzer, Canada 1:01.585
5. Stephan Rufli, Switzerland 1:02.055
6. Evren Ozan, United States 1:02.858
7. Scoot Smith, Canada 1:02.905
8. Louis Pilloni, United States 1:03.103
9. Torbjorn Sunde, Norway 1:03.361
10. Mischo Erban, Canada 1:29.196